Dems hope to harness outrage, sadness after abortion ruling  

AP

The shock quickly turned to sadness for Victoria Lowe. The 37-year-old lawyer, working outside a cafe in suburban Bucks County, Pennsylvania, said she couldn’t believe the Supreme Court stripped away the constitutional right to abortion that women have had her entire life. She started to cry. “I don’t understand how they could reach this conclusion,” she said. In the immediate aftermath of one of the Supreme Court’s most consequential rulings, it was too soon to know how deeply the political landscape had shifted. But in this politically competitive corner of one of the most important swing states in the U.S., embattled Democrats hope to harness the emotion from women like Lowe to reset what has been an otherwise brutal election year environment. For much of the year, the threat to abortion rights has seemed somewhat theoretical, overshadowed by more tangible economic challenges, particularly inflation and rising gas prices. But the Supreme Court’s decision ensures that abortion will be a central issue in U.S. politics for the foreseeable future. That’s especially true as restrictions begin to take effect. Pregnant women considering abortions already had been dealing with a near-complete ban in Oklahoma and a prohibition after roughly six weeks in Texas. Clinics in at least eight other states — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, South Dakota, Wisconsin and West Virginia — stopped performing abortions after Friday’s decision. In Pennsylvania, the future of the procedure could hinge on November’s elections. For now, women here will continue to have access to abortion up to 24 weeks. Republicans are poised to change state law, however, should they maintain control of the legislature and seize the governorship in November. Doug Mastriano, the GOP nominee for governor, opposes abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the mother.

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